Anyone who has ever planned a sports tournament knows that the likelihood of everything going exactly as planned is slim to none. It’s just the nature of the beast. Either the facilities are great but the area is lackluster, the area is great but the facilities are run-of-the-mill or the stinkin’ weather just won’t cooperate with your tournament.
But when you choose to host your next sports tournament in Bradenton, Florida, you are making a wise decision by minimizing the opportunity for error. When you play your tournament in Manatee County, you are guaranteeing yourself, your teams and their families a phenomenal location with world-class facilities, exciting entertainment options and superb weather year-round. Everyone, from your players to the coaches to the picky younger siblings, will find the time spent in this charming coastal town nothing short of worthwhile.
You can play where the pros play, train where the pros train and even sleep where the pros sleep. Bring your teams somewhere they actually want to go! From entertainment to athletics, hosting your next sports tournament in Bradenton will be a home run for all.
Activities in Bradenton
Who doesn’t want to go to the beach? Most likely, your teams aren’t going to be competing from sunup to sundown, so one of the most important aspects of planning a sports tournament is what to do during downtime. When you plan to play in Bradenton, you’ve got a built in vacation for your tournament. Beaches, marinas, restaurants and an excess of entertainment options make this coastal town alluring for sports teams and their families.
Nature lovers will find plenty to see and hear in the nature preserves and city parks. Riverwalk is a beachside playground and nature preserve with walking and animal-watching trails. If you’re feeling adventurous, book an alligator tour! Or for an experience unlike anything you’ve done before, head over to The Real BeachHorses, where you can go horseback riding in the water. They also have jet skis and other watersports gear. Plenty of championship golf courses add to the area’s recreational options.
Local history comes alive at Manatee Village Historical Park, which includes an 1860 courthouse and 1887 church, plus a general store, schoolhouse, settler’s home and Baldwin steam engine from the early 1900s. De Soto National Memorial has exhibits, a film, and talks and weapons demonstrations by park rangers who discuss the expedition of Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto, who landed in the area in 1539. The South Florida Museum, another Bradenton attraction, explores the region’s cultural and natural history. It includes Bishop Planetarium and Parker Manatee Aquarium, which is home to Snooty, the oldest known manatee in captivity
Let us connect you with Bradenton Area Sports Commission
Director of Sports
Phone: 941-729-9177 x3951
- Assistance with coordination accommodations, team meals, awards banquet, food service, etc.
- Grant programs
- Social media, marketing, local PR & amp; media coverage
- Appropriate venue location
- Amateur, collegiate and professional sports
- Superb weather year round
Ellenton Ice and Sports Complex
Sports: Hockey, ice skating, roller skating
Offering high-level recreational leagues on two NHL-sized ice rinks, Ellenton Ice and Sports Complex offers a premier ice sports experience. In addition to offering public skate times, the facility offers party rooms and private spaces for your team. The roller skating floor can be rented out by the hour – a great activity for off days or long stretches between games! Other features include an inline skate rink, fitness center, conference rooms, CrossFit and a hockey pro shop.
Nestled on the edge of downtown Bradenton sits one of the city’s biggest bragging rights, LECOM Park. It is the home of the Pittsburgh Pirates during spring training. If you’re looking for a state-of-the-art baseball complex, your search can stop now. The park underwent a $20-million renovation as part of a 30-year lease with the city of Bradenton, beginning in 2008. New features include a new visitors clubhouse and lights on the field, as well as brand new offices and dormitories for players and family. You can sleep in the same room as the Pittsburgh Pirates. Catering and private rooms are available.
As a part of the massive renovation, Pirate City – the workout and practice fields located five miles away – got a big facelift, too. Pirate City is like an all-you-can-eat buffet for sports planners. We’re talking dining halls, activity rooms with ping pong tables and pool tables, computers, TVs, housing and, of course, professional-grade baseball fields for premier competition. Four full-sized fields are all named after a Pirates legend or Hall-of-Famer. Both bleacher and grandstand seating is available. However, plan ahead for parking. A limited number of spots are available behind the left field fence in a grass lot.
Premier Sports Campus
Sports: Soccer, football, lacrosse, Frisbee, rugby
Located on the east side of Manatee County, the massive Premier Sports Campus. has 22 FIFA regulation-sized fields, all with real Bermuda grass. Eight fields have lights for night games, and 65,000 square feet of underground irrigation ensure you’ll never be flooded out after heavy rains. High-quality healthy and fresh snacks are available at one of many concession stands. Although soccer is the main draw, these fields are used for football, rugby, Frisbee, lacrosse and fitness programs.
Sports: Tennis, baseball, basketball, football, track and field, golf, soccer
IMG Academy is a world-class sports facility so it’s safe to say they can provide everything you and your sports teams will need. It boasts 20+ multi-sport fields, 50+ tennis courts, an 18-hole golf course, a 5,000-seat stadium, two multi-court basketball gyms and weight rooms with more than 10,000 square feet of space.
Play on the same field as the pros at IMG Academy Baseball Park or IMG Academy Field, which is the training site for the USWNT. Professional athletes from nearly every sport choose the IMG as their training and off-season homes. NBA, NFL, MLB, PGA and U.S. Olympians utilize IMG’s professional-grade facilities. With dining halls, dormitories, fitness centers, conference rooms and private spaces, IMG Academy can accommodate almost any type of tournament.
Manatee County Parks
Sports: Baseball, football, basketball, tennis, aquatics, golf, fitness, biking, volleyball, recreational
Manatee County Park System comprises over 35 recreational parks with almost endless options. Walking trails, skate parks, dog parks, open fields, tennis courts, basketball courts, bike trails, rowing and fishing can all be accommodated in Manatee County Parks. Some of the biggest draws are the softball fields, aquatics center and recently renovated, 6,700-yard Manatee County Golf Course.
How to Get There
Located just south of Tampa, Bradenton is on Florida’s Gulf Coast and easily accessible from anywhere.
By Car: One of the nation’s longest interstates, Highway 75, cuts right through Bradenton, providing convenient north-south access. Cities within a day’s drive include Atlanta, Tallahassee, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Tampa, Montgomery and Charleston.
By Air: Bradenton is a 45-minute drive on I-75 from Tampa International Airport, which is served by most major airlines.